In my 17 years’ experience with CRM I have had the chance to see and work with many CRMs. From the typical Excel with macros through to Salesforce, via customised developments and software that couldn’t be maintained because the company had folded, verticals and cloud-based CRMs like Sugar.
From this perspective I have gained insight into the strengths of Salesforce, the CRM software leader which we are now and have for a long time been implementing at S4G thanks to highly specialised and qualified consultants.
Your number-one priority must be to offer your customers the best.
Salesforce’s top strength is the company itself and its exponential growth, delivering software with guaranteed maintenance for decades (at least!).
The Salesforce Advantage:
The first Salesforce advantage it´s innovation
Salesforce strives to improve its software across a sustainable and transparent business setting, with 3 new releases per year. Note that each release has around 500 pages of description!
It has been named the most innovative tech business in the world on numerous occasions. Enough said there.
Scalability it´s probaly the second most important Salesforce advantage
Cloud implementation allows Salesforce to power constant business growth and change. 10 new users? No problem. Bought a new business with 1,000 users and you have to adapt processes and procedures? That’s no sweat, either.
Salesforce’s point-and-click configuration capabilities are outstanding. A good analysis will lead to a fast evolving development with a near-on instant impact on business efficiency.
Salesforce has developed various bundles with adaptations for some verticals, such as Higher Education and Non Profit, whilst a number of partners have also developed verticals for different sectors (recruitment and property).
These verticals greatly simplify the configuration process, speeding up Salesforce CRM implementation across sector businesses.
From the start, Salesforce has been aware that a CRM can have different functionalities associated to it that are usually developed in other programs.
One of its objectives has been to expand on these, either by developing them (such as its proprietary Service Cloud) or by buying and integrating businesses and their software (like Marketing Cloud, CPQ and Social Hub). Its product policy has meant that this growth in functionalities has been via modularisation, so you can choose which to use and pay for those ones only.
Finally, this enables businesses to obtain a large part of the software they need from the same provider and integrator, expanding their service range on the basis of their requirements and only paying for what they need.
Salesforce has a wealth of apps at its Appexchange store, from small functionalities like the Currency Updater developed by S4G through to complex developments for financial and billing management and apps to validate digital signatures (DocuSign), among others.
This provides for extra functionalities at a reasonable price (even for free) with no need for analysis or development time. S4G is a partner on many of these apps, such as Sdocs and Tenfold. Check them out here.
Another Salesforce Advantage it´s the versatility
Because the software has major development flexibility, Salesforce can provide added values that are not expected in a CRM but which are very necessary in the corporate field, such as managing conference rooms, holidays, expenses, validations in certain processes and lots more.
I know this sounds like a disadvantage however it could be a great Salesforce Advantage.
I included it here because I want to talk about something that I know the sales reps of other CRMs speak of and which I don’t think is true, which is that a Salesforce project has many hidden costs.
The cost of Salesforce is nearly always close to total cost of ownership. This cost can be calculated at the start of a project.
- The soft and hard limits that Salesforce imposes regarding APIs, field numbers, etc., are very rarely exceeded and you can talk with Salesforce and/or pay for nearly all of them.
- Projects usually come in on time and form, except for scope changes or the availability limits of the project’s in-house team.
- Database and hard disk space costs can be planned and should therefore be part of TCO from the outset.
I do believe it’s important to partner up with a Salesforce consulting expert like S4G Consulting to do the calculations properly.
Talking about hidden costs, one of the biggest problems with software projects is sizing the hardware. I’ve seen projects with a 10% rise in TCO due to poorly sized hardware that had to be changed. Even worse, that couldn’t be implemented properly because it was too slow (undersized or poorly configured hardware).
Due to this, with Salesforce you have one less problem.
In short, Salesforce is the best CRM software I have seen by a long shot and I recommend it thoroughly. On top of that, the tool’s evolution over recent years makes it unquestionably the best bet of CRM.